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CDC Director Warns Second Wave Of Coronavirus; Masks Are Required At Ford Plant Where Trump Will Visit; Gunman Shoots Three People At Arizona Mall. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired May 21, 2020 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[07:00:00]

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: We want to welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day.

New overnight, coronavirus cases worldwide surpassing the 5 million mark. The World Health Organization reported the largest single-day increase in cases since this outbreak began. That is not going in the right direction, obviously. Most of those cases are in just four countries, the United States, Russia, Brazil and India.

Meanwhile, the embattled head of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, in an interview overnight says the U.S. was caught on its back foot when the virus hit. Redfield warns about another flare-up in the fall and even a second round of lockdowns.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: This comes as CNN is reporting Redfield's future at the agency might be in jeopardy. He has repeatedly been singled out by President Trump and others in the administration who blame the CDC for the high death toll.

In just a few hours, the president will be in Michigan to tour a Ford plant making masks. Now visitors are required to wear them. The president has refused to commit as to whether he will comply.

CAMEROTA: All right. Joining us now, John, Beth Cameron. She was the Senior Director for the Global Health Security and Biodefense on the White House National Security Council under President Obama. Great to see you, Dr. Cameron.

So let's start with what Dr. Redfield, the director of the CDC, said overnight to the Financial Times. The first thing he said was whether or not -- he was asked whether he could guarantee that we wouldn't be in this same predicament in the fall. I mean, I'm sure he didn't necessarily appreciate that question because how can he have a crystal ball, but he gave it a shot. And here's what he said.

He said, I can't guarantee. That's kind of getting into the opinion mode. We have to be data-driven. What I can say is that we are committed to using the time that we have now to get this nation as overprepared as possible. Basically, what he has said is that what we really need is tracking capability and contact tracing. Do you agree that that is the job of the local municipalities and governors and are we doing that sufficiently now?

DR. BETH CAMERON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY AND BIODEFENSE: So it's definitely the job of the federal government as well as local government. So, of course, local governments need to be paying attention. Many of them are really stepping up to the plate here in the absence of a unified federal plan.

But CDC's new guidelines released a couple of days ago really start to put forward some metrics for all states to be using for reopening. That's a good step forward because we know with 20,000 cases every day still in the country, we're definitely going to see an increase in cases and a spike over the summer and into the fall if we expand -- if we come out of social distancing too quickly.

We really need to be thinking less about opening and closing and more like expanding slowly so that people can start getting back to a new normal. But we need to do it with increases in testing, we need to do it with the contact tracing that the CDC director was mentioning. And I think we really need to do it with a scientist or a public health expert standing up every day with a dashboard of metrics saying here is where we are in every state and here is where we need to be in order to move to the next phase.

Our organization is putting some of those metrics out today working with NTI, Georgetown and the Center for Global Development on a COVIDlocal.org. And there's a number of great approaches here. But everyone needs to be working off of the same playbook. And right now, not every state is.

BERMAN: And by the way, this is what the American people want exactly. They don't buy into this notion that there's this false choice between health and the economy. They want things to open only if it can be done safely and they want it to be done safely. And so when we frame it as a battle, I think we're doing a disservice to what people say they actually want.

One other thing Dr. Redfield made clear is he said, if you sleep on what's happening in Brazil, basically, you do it at your own peril. This virus has moved to the southern hemisphere. There is a major crisis in Brazil right now. They just had their highest spike in the number of new cases and the number of deaths. And Dr. Redfield said, we've seen evidence that the concerns it would go south in the southern hemisphere like flu are coming true and you see what's happening in Brazil now. And then when the southern hemisphere is over, I suspect it will regroup itself or reground itself, he says, in the north.

In other words, this isn't going away. It's not gone now. And given what it's doing in Brazil right now, as they're in fall and winter, we can expect it to be doing the same thing here again in a few months.

[07:05:06]

CAMERON: Absolutely true. We know not only should we be worried about the fall, but we absolutely still need to worry about later in the summer. What we've been doing with social distancing is just keeping the virus at bay and helping the healthcare workers to get the hospitals into a situation where we can actually deal with the surge in cases. But if we're not able to track down, test, isolate and regroup, we're not going to -- for each patient, and for as many patients as possible, we're not going to be able to deal with the surge that we'll certainly see now, and then the potential for an even greater increase in the fall with flu season.

It's not just Brazil either. The increase in cases around the world with the U.S., Brazil, Russia and India. So we're seeing increases in a number of places, including the continent of Africa. It's concerning. And we really need to be on our guard and doing a much better job with public health capacity at home.

CAMEROTA: For a long time, as you know, we've talked about the U.S. was late to embrace what was really happening and understand and warn the public. That the Trump administration, you know, said -- I mean, the president himself said lots of things like it will go away in April when the weather gets warmer. He really downplayed it.

And we wondered what the consequences were of that and now we can quantify it somewhat, because there are disease trackers, basically, at Columbia University who have figured out what was lost during those weeks. And here's the graph of what they've found. If a week earlier the stay-at-home orders had begun, 36,000 fewer Americans would have died. If they had begun two weeks earlier, as many medical experts thought they should, 54,000 fewer people would have died. I mean, it's remarkable just how much time we lost.

And by the way, they're not only blaming the federal government. They also say that in New York, which, of course, has been the biggest outbreak, that the leaders here, that Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio also were slow on the uptake. They waited until mid to late March to close schools and take other measures. And so they're just -- now, we can see in that graph the precious time lost.

CAMERON: I think this really underscores what I think Tony Fauci has said really well a number of times, which is that you're dealing with public health. If you're overreacting, you're doing what you need to do, if you feel like you're overreacting.

And I think back in March, many leaders around the country and around the world felt like doing the kind of social distancing, the lockdowns that we're doing now was an overreaction. And I think, unfortunately, the United States of America is really getting a crash course in public health right now and why it's important to act quickly and to really act decisively to put in place measures that may actually have significant economic impact, but Overall, over the long-term, may save lives and the economy.

So it's hard -- it's really hard to look back and to look at those numbers. But I think it's really important that we do it and we really understand so that we can actually make better choices this time around in the summer and so that we can do it better next time. BERMAN: Also joining us now is Dr. Barton Haynes, Director of the Duke University Human Vaccine Institute, which is currently working on a coronavirus vaccine. Doctor, great to see you here. Thanks for being with us.

A new study overnight, which addresses, I think, one of the major questions that has been hanging over this pandemic, which is why aren't children infected at the same rate or in the same numbers as adults? And what this study, and it was peer reviewed and published in the JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found is that the physiology in the nose, the receptors in the nose in kids are just different. That might be one reason why they're not getting it as much and as badly as adults.

What questions do we still need to answer in terms of children, do you think, as this moves forward?

DR. BARTON HAYNES, DIRECTOR, THE DUKE UNIVERSITY HUMAN VACCINE INSTITUTE: Well, children can be infected and the question is how often are they symptomatic, and we know that they're less often symptomatic than adults. And then how do they respond to vaccines? And will they need to be vaccinated? And the notion is that children will need to be vaccinated, just like adults and just like older adults in order to get control of the epidemic.

So I think a big question is how to move vaccine files (ph) forward that will include children as well as young adults and older adults.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Haynes, you are currently working on a coronavirus vaccine. We've gotten some promising news from companies like Moderna about the progress they're making.

[07:10:05]

Can you give us a status report?

HAYNES: Well, there was a press release on Monday, a very early report on eight individuals who made antibodies called neutralizing antibodies. And so for most vaccines protection is in the form of induction of the type of antibodies called neutralizing antibodies that can either prevent infection or it can control the virus to prevent the onset of disease, allowing a mild infection but preventing disease. And so the report was that eight individuals so far vaccinated have developed these neutralizing antibodies.

There was also a study reported in monkeys this week that came out that showed two things. One is a group of monkeys were infected with the coronavirus and then allowed to recover, and then a month later were infected again with the coronavirus. And the second time they got infected but they did not -- but they were allowed to control the virus. The previous infection controlled the virus and they didn't have prolonged virus infection. And so both of these reports are good news that a vaccine might indeed be able to be made.

A third study this week also showed that a genetic vaccine, this time a DNA vaccine, prevented monkeys from getting infection with the virus and actually they got infected but prevented the virus from expanding in the monkeys and helped the monkeys to control the virus. And, again, this was very hopeful and gave a cause for hope that, indeed, a vaccine can be made.

BERMAN: Beth, it is interesting. The president is headed to Michigan today to tour a Ford plant, which is making ventilators and other PPE. And visitors there are required to wear masks. And for some reason, the president has not committed to whether or not he will wear a mask when he tours this facility.

In terms of the public messaging there, what do you make of that and what has become this political battle over mask-wearing?

CAMERON: I think it's unfortunate that mask wearing is getting politicized. And I do think, personally, that the president should model the behavior that we really want to see in the public, which is wearing masks when you go outside and when you're around people in particular in enclosed spaces.

And the reason for that is twofold. One, masks do prevent you from spreading infection if you have the disease. And I think the president has said that he has tested regularly and, obviously, that's true and that's a good thing and that should happen.

But if -- there are also studies that are showing that in places, in countries like Hong Kong and elsewhere where people are wearing masks on a very regular basis, that they're doing a better job of controlling the infection. And that's because people wearing masks can't spread the disease to others.

And in addition to that, it does, I think, at least, cause some behavior changes in people such that they do social distance when they're speaking to one a little bit more effectively.

So I think the president should model the behavior we want to see in the American people but I don't think that this should be political. I think it should be about public health and what we're doing is we're protecting everyone so that everyone can get back to a new normal.

CAMEROTA: We'll see what happens today during that visit. Beth Cameron, Dr. Barton Haynes, thank you both very much for all of the information.

And join Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a new coronavirus global town hall with a special appearance by First Lady Melania Trump. That is tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on CNN.

So the president is taking aim at Michigan with false claims about voter fraud. Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has some thoughts on this, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:15:00]

BERMAN: In just a few hours, President Trump will head to Michigan to tour an auto plant that has been repurposed to manufacture ventilators and personal protective equipment. This comes one day after lobbing lies, frankly, about voter fraud and threatening to withhold federal funding over mail-in voting.

Joining me now is Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, whose district includes the Ford plant that the president will visit. Congresswoman, thanks for being with us.

Will you be joining the president in Ypsilanti?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): The invitation didn't come, John. But, you know, all of us are -- the UAW, the governor and myself have said that we are really proud that he is going to see the heroes of the frontline visiting this plant. He's visiting the area that's the home of Rosie the Riveter, that was the arsenal of democracy during World War II and is now the arsenal of health. And he is going to see those heroes that went to work immediately to help produce the PPE equipment and other critical equipment, like the ventilators that were needed.

So we are all being positive today that he is going to see and witness Michigan grit.

BERMAN: Michigan grit, which is visible now in abundance.

The attorney general of your state has written a letter requesting that the president wear a mask, as is required by visitors at this plant. What's your opinion on this?

DINGELL: John, I've spent the last nine weeks daily speaking with Rory Gamble, the president of the UAW, the autos -- the auto CEOs, this (INAUDIBLE) community about how you protect lives and how do you keep jobs safe and ultimately still keep those jobs. This is a very critical week. Auto plants are slowly reopening. Those protocols were developed with expert scientists, the workers themselves and leaders need to lead.

We've already compacted the plans for Monday, two Ford plants, unfortunately, have had COVID cases. They shut them down. I hope the president will follow the protocols because people will see the importance of wearing those masks.

[07:20:04]

It matters.

BERMAN: Why do you think he's been reluctant to wear it to date? Why?

DINGELL: I don't know. Some people see wearing a mask as a sign of weakness. I get greatly disturbed when I'm in the Congress, that some of the Republicans are not wearing masks. I got really angry when I went back to Washington last week when people weren't wearing masks, keeping their physical distance. I had to get up and move four times.

This becomes a matter of individual rights. I believe in the freedom of protest, the freedom of speech, that there's such a thing as the common good. And I don't think another person has got a right to endanger another person's life.

BERMAN: An issue right now in many states around the country is how to vote safely, how to vote without endangering your life or someone else's, the public good, as you're talking here. And I don't want to put up what the president wrote up yesterday because it contained actually not one but two lies in it. But what is your opinion about mail-in voting as a safe alternative to in-person voting during this pandemic?

DINGELL: So, let's be real clear that what is going to happen, when we saw Wisconsin and Ohio, people were afraid to vote. Democracy flourishes when the maximum number of people participate. And people should not have to make a choice between their own health and the fear of what could happen and supporting their government voting.

These are not ballots that are being mailed. They are absentee ballot applications. People still have to make the decision that they want to vote. But it lets them safely vote without have to make a decision about their health. And a number of other Republican secretary of states have undertaken the exact same action, which was pointed out yesterday and we actually welcomed the secretary of state to the group of women in Michigan that the president just every now and then takes a shot at. We have the highest per capita of women he has taken shots at in the country.

BERMAN: How does it feel? I mean, you've talked about Michigan grit. You've had to use that Michigan grit and display it given what's happened with the pandemic. Michigan is hit very hard. There's flooding right now, devastating flooding in the central part of your state. So Michigan being hit hard there in the middle of this, the president threatens to withhold relief funding because of efforts to make voting more safe. So just how did that feel?

DINGELL: Well, I told -- she's a friend of mine, Jocelyn, not to let it get to her and that we just had to keep looking forward. We need the president. We need those federal funds. The Congress is the one that appropriated them. And we've got a lot -- I will say, I want to point out that the president and the governor talked yesterday afternoon about Midland. He did send (INAUDIBLE). She's very grateful for them. And, I mean, it's a devastating myriad.

John Moolenaar, my Republican colleague, who represented the area, had to evacuate his home late, so totally gone. I have friends there. Their homes are gone. The homes have moved. They can't be found. And we just all have to come together under COVID to figure out how we help this area that's devastated.

But there's another lesson to be learned. The dams that broke have been identified. I mean, (INAUDIBLE) withdrawn the license of one them. They had been identified by civil engineers as being unsafe. This is a time to come together, Republicans and Democrats, and pass that infrastructure bill that's been kicked down the road too often.

BERMAN: Yes. In 2018, there were warnings about these very dams.

Why do you think the president feels threatened by increased access to the ballot or mail-in voting?

DINGELL: I don't know. Because even the studies show that it really doesn't help Republicans or Democrats. I think we all just have to really want maximum participation. Democracy is strongest when we all participate. I think the biggest threat to this country right now is we're going through all of this indifference. And I want that indifference. I want people to know their vote matters and that we need to make it easy for them to access, whoever they are, Republican, Democrat, Independent. They need to be able to exercise that vote.

BERMAN: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, we do appreciate your time. Thank you for the work you're doing on behalf of the people and the grit they are all showing in Michigan. So thank you.

DINGELL: Thank you. Good to see you guys this morning.

BERMAN: All right. A shooting at a Phoenix area entertainment complex, several people hurt. We have breaking details and a live report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:25:00]

CAMEROTA: We are following breaking news right now. A gunman opened fire at an outdoor mall in the Phoenix area shooting at least three people. Authorities are now investigating online videos that may be linked to this shooting.

CNN's Josh Campbell joins us with the breaking details. What have you learned overnight, Josh.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Alisyn, even during this global pandemic, we are not immune to gun violence. Police describing a terrifying scene that played out last night in Glendale, Arizona. This is outside of Phoenix. Police say a gunman arrived at a shopping center, opened fire. Three people suffered gunshot wounds. Police tell us that one person remains in critical condition.

Now, as far as the shooter, we're not yet naming him. Police tell us there's a lot of investigating yet to be done on him despite the fact that he carried out this alleged act of violence, police say, that he was taken into custody without incident. Let's listen here to a police official described how the arrest went down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OFFICER TIFFANY NGALULA, GLENDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT: After the shooting began when our first officers arrived on scene, there were no longer any reports of active shooting from our dispatchers, who advised that they -- those first officers arriving heard no further gunshots. We were able to locate that suspect in the Westgate area. Our officers challenged that suspect and were able to safely take that person into custody.

(END VIDEO CLIP) [07:30:01]

CAMPBELL: Now, one of the witnesses in this incident was a state senator who was tweeting out what he was seeing, saying that he saw an armed terrorist with an AR-15.

END